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Old 08-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Electrical issue

I have a '97 Sunline Solaris T-2553. I just got it over the weekend. I got it for free, but that's another story. Of course it has a few maintenance issues, but the one I cannot figure out is this.

When I first plugged in the 7 pin cord for power and the trailer brakes everything worked. Inside coach lights, brake lights, and turn signals, I'm not sure about the taillights. It was daytime and I didn't think to check. We towed it a short distance and stayed over night. We had it plugged into shore power for the overnight.

When we unhooked and took off for home I noticed that the left blinker & brake light had blown. Easy bulb swap. But I also noticed that I now longer have interior lights or stereo like before when only plugged into the 7 pin connector to the truck and also no taillights.

There currently is no battery on the trailer and as I was securing the battery cables so they won't touch anything. I accidentally and briefly touched the hot cable to the frame. I sparked minimally, but I figured that maybe that caused a fuse to blow. I have checked all of the fuses that I can find under the sink and on the converter and see no blown fuses or thrown breakers. Everything still works on shore power. this is where I am left stumped.

Anybody have any thoughts?
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:01 PM   #2
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Draagro

Did you check the fuses in your tow vehicle?
Maybe one of those fuses blew.

There also may be a main in-line fuse that could be the problem.
Check out this post "12 Volt Junction Box" by JohnB - it may be helpful.

Hope this is of some help.
Hutch
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #3
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Good Suggestions!!! I'll take a look!! Thank you.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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Your 1997 Sunny will not have the junction box on the header like the pics in the link. Back in the 90's there was a junction box inside the camper. Not knowing your floor plan exactly I'll say try this.

Crawl under the camper and look for the 7 wire cable and where it goes up into the camper. Then go inside and in that area look for a wood covered box. It may be under a couch or in a cabinet or other strange covered place you would not think to look......

Take the screws out on top out and there should be a 30 amp truck charging fuse in there. If that one did not blow, then maybe the charge fuse in your truck did OR both. Others have posted the inside box here on the forum

I just happened to find this one quick, scroll down to the Steve Collins post with a pic of his inside junction box

Wiring for 96 Solaris T-1550

Good luck and congrats on your Sunny!!! And welcome to Sunline Owners Club

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Old 08-18-2014, 05:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the Suggestions!! I hadn't thought about the fuses on my truck. I checked them and viola, a 20 fuse was blown. Haven't been able to put a new one in yet, but I'm certain that will fix it.

Successful first post!!
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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Put in the new fuse and back came the power. I wish all the fixes were this easy. Also, I found the junction box with the 30 amp fuses. All fine, but no battery disconnect. I'll have to install one. that's easy.

Thanks again!!
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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Battery shut off switch

Has any body else done this to a 90's series Sunny? My battery went dead last winter and now I'm sure it was because the stereo is powered all the time.
I remember someone telling me that if you leave a battery hooked up to a charger over a period of time, it will kill the battery. Question.....would this happen when the battery is left hooked up all winter (would it be better to install a kill switch?)

Dave
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relie View Post
Has any body else done this to a 90's series Sunny? My battery went dead last winter and now I'm sure it was because the stereo is powered all the time.
I remember someone telling me that if you leave a battery hooked up to a charger over a period of time, it will kill the battery. Question.....would this happen when the battery is left hooked up all winter (would it be better to install a kill switch?)

Dave
Hi Relie,

There has been other forum members who have added a disconnect switch. I'll see if I can hunt down one of their posts as they had pics too I think. If you do add one, there is a need to make sure the emergency break away switch is wired up stream of the disconnect so it will always have power to that switch if it needs to work. This is a safety need in case you forget to turn the switch on when towing down the road. We really want/need this as it is a legal requirement in most if not all states to have the emerg breakaway switch operable all the time when towing. This is not a big deal to do, just to realize to do it.

There is truth in the statement certain battery chargers can boil out a battery and the lack of enough electrolyte over the cells will hurt a battery severally.

This needs to be put into the proper context as not all battery chargers are created equal. The problem comes when the type of charger does not have a float mode on it as some/many stand alone portable chargers do not have a float mode.

Once the battery reaches 100% state of charge, it's full and if the higher charging voltage and current keep going into the battery, over time it boils out the electrolyte enough to the point the battery has long term damage.

The key is to know if your stand along charger or power converter has a float mode or not.

Lead acid batteries like most of us use on our camper have maintenance needs to get the most life and performance they can. This applies to a car battery too, just the use of the camper battery makes it even more important if you want it to live a long life.

We need to make sure electrolyte is over the cells at all times and that the battery remains high enough in charge over long periods of none use. A next step is desulfation to dissolve the sulfation crystals that form over time of just using the battery.

Simple steps are, check the fluid level often until you know what yours converter charger system is doing to the battery.

After the camping trip is over, unhook any small drains of power use from the battery. This is where the battery unhooking comes in or disconnect.

Keep the battery sufficiently charged. Before putting the battery into storage charge it up full. Then monthly recharge what drains down over time just by the natural state of a battery life cycle. In the winter, bring the battery inside to an above freezing place and do the monthly recharge when not using it. Check fluid level every time before recharging. A low state of charge battery can freeze and then that will kill it.

Those are the 3 simple steps. From here to gain better longer life you can add a battery conditioner/maintainer to leave on the battery all the time when not camping with it. A trickle charger or better a battery minder keeps the battery up to 100% charged all the time and backs off the voltage and current to not boil the electrolyte out of it. They are float chargers. Now your battery is ready to go camping at a moments notice and the freezing issue in the winter is eliminated.

Next is to add the desulfation step. There are few ways to do this. Some higher end power converters have a desulfate mode. And some brands float chargers have a desulfate mode. Or if you really are into this, you can build your own desulfation system. Or take the easier route and you can buy for about $40 a battery minder with built in float and pulse type desulfate. Just dissconnet the battery from power use and plug it in on the battery after each camping trip and it takes care of the rest.

Here is the brand I use. VDC Electronics Battery Chargers, Maintainers & Desulfators by BatteryMINDers

They have all kinds for all kinds of needs. This is their newest one and even has temperature compensation on it. BatteryMINDer Model 1500

You can search the web where they sell them cheaper, Northern Tool, Amazon and even Camping World

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:03 AM   #9
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Electrical issue

Wow, what a great answer. I'm impressed that some one would take that much time to send that complete of an answer. Thanks!

Dave
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:19 AM   #10
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Addition to reply

I have a good charger that has the float mode and it works like a champ. My actual concern is the built in 12 volt inverter. Question, if left unattended for the winter will the battery discharge faster when left hooked up. I leave my trailer in storage for the winter and don't have access to it. I must leave the battery hooked up so the fellow that moves it into storage can run the electric lift on the tongue. Any suggestions? ( once I leave the campground in the fall, I don't see the trailer until spring).

Dave
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:33 AM   #11
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A good converter/charger should not discharge the battery. An inverter on the other hand has an "idling" current and can discharge a battery if it is not on charge or disconnected.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #12
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Electrical issue

I think it's most probably an inverter that they put in these SUNLINERS. Sooooo, do I have him unhook the battery when it's in storage or just take my chances?

Dave
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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Relie,

It's wouldn't normally be an inverter in the Sunline. It would be a converter. Where are you getting "....built in inverter from"? If you have an inverter of any kind I think it was added as a modification by someone.

You may be confusing the two, which IMHO is easy to do.

When I was a youngster, we called the converter a "transformer", at least my Aurora HO race track called converting ac to dc a transformer as many items did. Today they are called AC Adapters.

Tim could explain any differences other than terminology I'm sure.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:56 PM   #14
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Electrical issue

Inverter, converter or whatever, it's whatever came in a 1999 Solaris 26 footer. It still has whatever was in originally. Just wondering if the inverter,converter while left in the line with the battery still hooked up over the winter, would it bring the battery down? I thank you for all the suggestions.

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